Leonardo Journal Volume 40, Issue 1, (2007)

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Leonardo is a print journal, published five times a year. Leonardo is edited by Leonardo/the International Society for the Arts, Sciences and Technology, and published by the MIT Press.

ONLINE ACCESS: Subscriptions to Leonardo include access to electronic versions of journal issues available on The MIT Press website.

ORDER: Subscriptions, individual issues and articles can also be ordered from The MIT Press.

PAST ISSUES: Browse tables of contents and abstracts of past issues of Leonardo and LMJ


Leonardo Gallery

The Dream of Reason

curated by Elysa Lozano and Inês Rebelo

Including work by Tom Dale, Anthony Discenza, Lauren Kirkman, Frederick Loomis, Elysa Lozano, Inês Rebelo and Alexander Ugay and Roman Maskalev

View the gallery online

Artist Statements

Himalaya's Head: Disturbed Visual Feedback in an Interactive Multi-User Installaion

by Sarita Dev

The Genetic Creation of Bioluminescent Plants for Urban and Domestic Use

by Alberto T. Estévez

Historical Perspective

The Shiraz Arts Festival: Western Avant-Garde Arts in 1970s Iran

by Robert Gluck

ABSTRACT: Iran in the 1970s was host to an array of electronic music and avant-garde arts. In the decade prior to the Islamic revolution, the Shiraz Arts Festival provided a showcase for composers, performers, dancers and theater directors from Iran and abroad, among them Iannis Xanakis, Peter Brook, John Cage, Gordon Mumma, David Tudor, Karlheinz Stockhausen and Merce Cunningham. A significant arts center, which was to include electronic music and recording studios, was planned as an outgrowth of the festival. While the complex politics of the Shah's regime and the approaching revolution brought these developments to an end, a younger generation of artists continued the festival's legacy.

Special Section: Live Art and Science on the Internet

Recipe for a Google Party (TM)

by Adam Overton

ELIZA REDUX: A Mutable Iteration

by Adrianne Wortzel

ABSTRACT: The author discusses her on-line interactie telerobotic work ELIZA REDUX, its sources and the emblematic use of the psychoanalyst/analysand relationship as a performative vehicle.

Wigglism: A Philosophoid Entity Turns Ten

by Ebon Fisher

ABSTRACT:The author describes The Wigglism Manifesto, a work authored amidst the fury of early exchange on the World Wide Web. The term Wigglism refers to a quality shared by biological and artificial life forms alike. The manifesto has taken an open-source approach to its cultivation, allowing numerous voices to nurture the entity into being. This collective approach to truth cultivation embodied by the manifesto was inspired in part, by the author's experiences with community-based media rituals in the North Brooklyn community before it gentrified in the mid-1990s. The project has affirmed its initiator's sense that cultivating a living system can be a vital alternative to traditional creative practices more aligned with manufacturing and commerce.

General Article

Formulating Abstraction: Conceptual Art and the Architecural Object

by Therese Tierney

ABSTRACT: Digital techniques, primarily software appropriated from the entertainment and industrial design sectors, have destabilized the essential status of the architectural image-object forumulated in classical philosophical thought. Western European art experienced a similar crisis when conceptual art movements of the 1960s challenged Clement Greenberg's notion of medium specificity. The author examinees work by conceptual artists whose theories posit alternative views of spatial and social relations based on open-ended systems and indeterminancy. An examination of the relationship between materiality and abstraction as exemplified in new media's reformulation of architectural design processes indicates how a more inclusive and mutable profession has been realized.

Theoretical Perspective

A Taxonomy of Abstract Form Using Studies of Synesthesia and Hallucination

by Michael Betancourt

ABSTRACT: The author proposes a taxonomy of abstract form anchored in an examination of the history and theory of synesthesia and abstract art. The foundations of this taxonomy lie in empirical psychological studies of "form-constants" found in cross-modal synesthetic visions and hallucinatory states, specifically the work of Heinrich Klüver in his examinations of mescaline and the mechanisms producing visual hallucinations. While the proposed taxonomy is limited only to synesthesia-inspired abstraction, it has suggestive possibilities when considered in relation to other forms of non-synesthetic abstraction such as Islamic Art, the geometric forms found on classical Greek vases, and other kinds of decorative abstract patterns.

Special Section: ArtScience: The Essential Connection

Niko Tinbergen's Visual Arts

by Robert Root-Bernstein

The Art and Science of Visualizing Simulated Blood-Flow Dynamics

by Dolores A. Hangan Steinman and David A. Steinman

ABSTRACT: The increasing use of computer enhancement and simulation to reveal the unseen human body brings with it challenges, opportunities and responsibilities at the interface of art and science. Here they are presented and discussed in the context of efforts to understand the role of blood-flow dynamics in vascular disease.

A New Art Form: Exploring Nature's Creativity with a Self-Organizing Medium

by Robert Steinberg

ABSTRACT: The author describes a new art form that uses the self-organizing potential of a water-based medium to provide an ever-changing environment for interpretation and elaboration. The medium allows for little separation between plan and execution. The artist, nature and science interact on the "canvas" to create an art rich in novelty and surprise.

Special Section: From the Leonardo Archive

Kinetic Painting: The Lumidyne System

by Frank J. Malina

ABSTRACT: The paper discusses briefly kinetic painting systems that have been devised for producing a pictorial composition on a translucent flat surface that changes with time without resorting to the projection of light through film in a darkened room. The Lumidyne system developed by the author in 1956 is described in detail. Basic principles of its design, together with variations of the system, are given as well as the method of painting used by the author. Examples of several works are shown. The picture produced by the system is considered from the point of view of real motion and of change of transparent colour with time. The need for aesthetic guide lines for the kinetic painter is stressed. The author concludes that the Lumidyne system, after ten years of experience with it, is a practical, controllable and economical artistic medium.

Leonardo Reviews

Reviews by Jan Baetens, Roy R. Behrens, Martha Blassnigg, Dene Grigar, Rob Harle, Amy Ione, Michael R. Mosher, Michael Punt, Aparna Sharma and Stefaan Van Ryssen.

Leonardo Network News


Vita Longa, Ars Longa: Aging, Longevity Extension Technology and the Arts

by Stephen Wilson

Updated 18 February 2009